Bloomington voters will find Green Party candidate Jeff Melton's name on Indiana's 9th Congressional District ballot in November, even though he apparently did not receive enough votes to qualify for the ballot.
Sensing that a Melton candidacy will hurt incumbent Democrat Baron Hill more than Republican challenger Mike Sodrel, the State Election Commission's two GOP representatives voted last Thursday against his removal from the ballot. With two the Democrats voting to remove him, the vote was a tie, which under Indiana law means the Democrats' challenge to his candidacy failed.
Third-party candidates must obtain petition signatures equaling at least 2 percent of the number of votes cast in their district for the last Secretary of State race in order to be placed on the ballot under Indiana law. Melton turned far more petition signatures than the 3,713 he needed, but the Secretary of State's office ruled only 2,715 were from registered voters in the 9th District.
Libertarian Al Cox from Brown County will also be on the 9th District ballot this fall.